Hilary Hahn is among the world's greatest violinists of her or, arguably, any generation. She is one of those rare artists who possess both a colossal technique and interpretive acumen to set them apart from most of their rivals. Hahn had a major recording contract at 16, was named Best Young Classical Musician at 21 by Time Magazine, and by her mid-twenties was generally ranked as one of the finest violinists in the world. Her repertory is broad, taking in many of the standards by J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Spohr, Paganini, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Barber. But she also plays a few works from the byways of the repertory, including the concertos of Schoenberg and contemporary American composer Edgar Meyer. Hahn declares a preference for Bach, expressing a deep reverence for his music while playing many of his works for solo violin, as well as concertos. Hahn has recorded for Sony Classical and DG.
Hilary Hahn was born in Lexington, VA, on November 27, 1979. Her family moved to Baltimore when she was three. Hahn began playing the violin before her fourth birthday and soon began studies on the instrument via the Suzuki method. She took lessons from Russian émigré Klara Berkovich (1984-1989), and from 1990 studied violin at the Curtis Institute under Jascha Brodsky.
In 1991 Hahn debuted with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and by the mid-'90s had appeared with the Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York Philharmonic, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. In addition, she had debuted in Europe (1995), with Maazel and the Bavarian RSO, playing the Beethoven violin concerto.
Though she could have graduated at 16, Hahn stayed on at Curtis for additional courses and graduated at 19 (1999). By then she had made two recordings under her exclusive contract for Sony, Hilary Hahn plays Bach, and the Beethoven violin concerto and Bernstein Serenade, both critical and commercial successes.
In 2003 Hahn signed a recording contract with DG, and her first album, Bach Concertos, again was devoted to her favorite composer. In 2005 Hahn branched out into crossover music in a series of concerts with American singer/songwriter Tom Brosseau. Two years later she appeared in concert in crossover fare once again, this time with Josh Ritter, also a popular American singer/songwriter. Among Hahn's recordings is the 2008 DG album containing the Schoenberg and Sibelius violin concertos, with Esa-Pekka Salonen leading the Swedish RSO.